Thursday, June 14, 2012

Dollar Bin (Not So)Splurge of the Week:Prometheus(2012)

By Eric Polk-
I should have known better. I should have taken Ridley Scott's return to the horror/scif-fi genre at face value. I should have known that the beloved Alien franchise was to fall the way of so many before it thanks to unnecessary prequels/remakes, but this was the chap behind the legendary Alien and Blade Runner. He couldn't possibly screw this up...could he?

 Set in the late 21st century, the story centers on the crew of the spaceship Prometheus as they follow a star map discovered among the remnants of several ancient Earth cultures. Led to a distant world and an advanced civilization, the crew seeks the origins of humanity, but instead discovers a threat that could cause the extinction of the human race.(Fantastic premise)

At the beginning of the film,  in 2089, archaeologists Elizabeth Shaw and Charlie Holloway discover a star map among several unconnected ancient cultures. They interpret this as an invitation from humanity’s forerunners, or "Engineers". Peter Weyland, the elderly CEO of Weyland Corporation, funds the creation of the scientific vessel Prometheus to follow the map to the distant moon LV-223. The ship's crew travels in stasis while the android David monitors their voyage and studies linguistics such as Schleicher's fable. Arriving in 2093, they are informed of their mission to find the Engineers. Mission director Meredith Vickers orders them to avoid making direct contact. The Prometheus lands near a large artificial structure, which a team explores.(So an evil corporation manned by a machine named David send them to find the meaning of life? What was HAL not available?)

Inside they find numerous stone cylinders, a monolithic statue of a humanoid head, and the corpse of a large alien, thought to be an Engineer. They find other bodies and presume the species is extinct. David secretly takes a cylinder, while the remaining cylinders begin leaking dark liquid. A rapidly approaching storm forces the crew to return to Prometheus, leaving crew members Millburn and Fifield stranded in the structure. In the ship, the Engineer’s DNA is found to match that of humans. Meanwhile, David investigates the cylinder and discovers a dark liquid. He intentionally infects Holloway with the substance. Shaw and the unknowingly infected Holloway later have sex.

Inside the structure, a snake-like creature kills Millburn, and it sprays a corrosive fluid that melts Fifield’s helmet, exposing him to the leaking dark liquid. The crew later returns to the structure and finds Millburn’s corpse. David separately discovers a control room containing a surviving Engineer in stasis, and a star map highlighting Earth. Holloway’s infection rapidly ravages his body, and he is rushed back to Prometheus. Vickers refuses to let him aboard, and burns him to death with a flamethrower with his consent. Later, a medical scan reveals that Shaw, despite being sterile  is pregnant with an alien offspring. Shaw uses an automated surgery table to cut it out. Weyland is revealed to have been in stasis aboard Prometheus, and explains to Shaw he wants to ask the Engineers to prevent his death from old age. As Weyland prepares to leave for the structure, Vickers calls him "Father".(What is this? A sci-fi version of an episode of Maury?)

 A mutated Fifield attacks the hangar bay and kills several crew members before being killed himself. The Prometheus' captain, Janek, speculates that the structure was part of an Engineer military base that lost control of its biological weapon, the dark liquid. Janek also determines that the underground structure is in fact a spaceship. Weyland and a team return to the structure and awaken the Engineer. David speaks to the Engineer, who responds by decapitating him and killing Weyland and his team. Shaw escapes the spaceship as the Engineer activates it. David's still-active head reveals the Engineer is going to release the liquid on Earth. Shaw convinces Janek to stop the Engineer's spaceship. Vickers and her lifeboat are ejected before Janek crashes Prometheus into the Engineer's spaceship. The Engineer's disabled spaceship crashes onto the planet, killing Vickers. Shaw goes to Vickers' lifeboat and finds her alien offspring, which has grown to gigantic size. David warns Shaw over the intercom that the Engineer survived the crash. The Engineer bursts into the lifeboat and attacks Shaw.

The things that made the original Alien a classic is not on display here. I didn't care about any of the characters from the bland bad joke-spouting captain, the nothing-to-do-but-fly-the-ship-and-gamble pilots, the cliched evil corporate talking heads, the God-loving scientist and her unexciting boyfriend, the crazy guy,etc. We're given very little about the Engineer and why they want to kill us(Yes, I realize they're trying to set up a sequel, but still, I'd like to have known more than what I did.)There is exactly one good moment of suspense(to Ridley's credit, he executed it quite brilliantly) and while the gore is decent, it doesn't make up for the prolonged sequences of boredom I found. Very, very sad.

                       Yeah Little Guy, I wasn't happy Jonesy didn't make an appearance either.

1 comment:


Oh man, Rhonny....I have to disagree! I LOVED Prometheus! I thought it was brilliant. I was hooked from the beautiful opening scene. The film had some great dialog and some good acting...I especially liked the droid David and his interactions with the humans...made for some great dialog. People can't go into it expecting a new ALIEN(S) is a stand along film, just set in the ALIEN(S) world. I'm sorry you didn't enjoy it....I couldn't stop smiling...especially at the very end scene ;-)